Vinemont High’s inaugural STEAM Job Fair a resounding success

Students interact with industry professional Trey McRae as they learn about additive manufacturing and the use of 3D-printed parts on helicopters. (Gauge Day)

VINEMONT, Ala. – Vinemont High School’s gymnasium was a hive of activity and curiosity on March 20 as the school hosted its inaugural STEAM Job Fair. From 9 a.m.-2 p.m., students from middle and high school levels engaged in conversations with business leaders and professionals from local STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) fields. The event, designed to bridge the gap between students and the ever-growing STEAM industries in and around Cullman County, was nothing short of a triumph.

The fair was packed to the brim with students with vastly different career goals and interests, navigating through tables to explore what the STEAM businesses could offer for their futures. Students were tasked with an interactive challenge: visit at least three different business tables, ask three questions to the industry professionals and record the answers. This initiative encouraged the students to dive deep into conversation with the STEAM fields they had the most interest in and explore questions that they may not have been able to ask before.

Tables featured intriguing interactive pieces, including models of satellites, robots and 3D-printed parts, alongside comprehensive information about the businesses and programs represented, giving students a glimpse of the work they could be doing as a career. Additionally, it offered students a practical glimpse into the nature of future job fairs and the opportunity to connect with industry professionals in a real-world setting.

Shannon Bridges, a science teacher at Vinemont and coordinator of the job fair, shared her enthusiasm for the event’s outcome. “We had a great turnout for our first STEAM job fair. The purpose of the job fair was to expose students at Vinemont High School to careers in STEAM. We wanted the students to learn about many careers, summer internships, and summer camps. I think the job fair was a huge success.”

The fair was supported by a robust lineup of companies and organizations, showcasing the wide array of opportunities available within STEAM fields. Participants included:

  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH)
  • CCBOE Technology Department
  • Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Forensics
  • Elaine Roberts Drafters and Designers
  • Wallace State Community College Robotics
  • James Construction
  • Sprout Internet
  • Walmart Distribution
  • Quanthub
  • Edward Warnke and Brian Kress – Cullman County Farmers
  • Cullman Electric Co-Op – Lineman
  • Lee’s Veterinary Clinic
  • Athens Aerospace Systems Management
  • Ricky McSwain – Machinist
  • Cullman Park and Recreation
  • Prototype Division at Redstone Arsenal
  • Blue Origin
  • Skills from Wallace State Community College

Bridges and Vinemont High School extended their heartfelt appreciation to these organizations for their participation and support. They said the strong outcome of the event speaks volumes about the community’s commitment to fostering the next generation of STEAM professionals.

Reflecting on the event’s achievements, Bridges expressed her gratitude and optimism for the future, “We have so much support in our community, and I was blessed to have many alumni of Vinemont High School behind the tables. We hope to add more companies, businesses and colleges next year. We really would like to add some medical careers.”

The success of the Vinemont STEAM Job Fair not only underscores the broad curiosity among students about the STEAM industries and careers, but also sets the stage for an expanded event. Next year and beyond, the fair is poised to offer an even wider array of opportunities for students to explore and engage with the dynamic landscape of STEAM careers.

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